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New bill in California would eliminate sales tax for out-of-state Tesla buyers and encourage deliveries at the Fremont factory


Sen. Bob Wieckowski, whose district is home to Tesla’s Fremont factory, is sponsoring a bill which include a provision to eliminate the sales tax on new cars manufactured in California for out-of-state buyers. The new provision would allow Tesla to spur what the senator refers to as “industrial tourism” and maybe even create a program similar to BMW’s popular “European delivery” option.

Several luxury car brands in Europe offer the option to pick up your new car at their factory and make an event out of it, which can include a factory tour and a road-trip across Europe. They take care of a shuttle from the airport to the factory, car insurance and registration for the duration of your stay and offer a choice of packages included in the price of your purchase for you to make an European road trip out of the first drive with your new car.

You can then drop the vehicle off at one of several “drop-off” points across Europe and they will ship it to your home.

Wieckowski said:

“We think that California is an attraction. We think that people want to go down to a Tesla factory to see it. The government can be an incubator for these ideas.”

The senator hopes that a sales tax exemption will encourage such programs in California by making the cost equivalent to buying the vehicle in your home state and taking a similar trip, while the chance of visiting the Fremont factory and using your new vehicle for a road-trip could spur “industrial tourism” in the state.

Under the provision in Senate Bill 680, Tesla would have three years to experiment with the program and prove its value as it is otherwise set to expire in 2020. The bill passed in the Senate on Wednesday and is now heading to the Assembly.

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  1. Cory Imdieke - 7 years ago

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but wouldn’t you still have to pay sales tax in the state you register the car in anyway?

    • Fred Lambert - 7 years ago

      Of course. It just assure that you’d pay the same price for the car as if you were buying it from your home state/country.

    • Ignignot - 7 years ago

      Yes, but if you were to do this now, you sound pay tax twice. In your home state and in Cali.

      • Kartheg Manickavasagam - 7 years ago

        You only pay the difference in tax. For example if I bought the car today in California, I would pay 7.5 % sales tax to California. When I take it to KY, since the tax is 5 % , I do not pay any taxes in KY. If I bought the car today in KY, I would pay 5 %. And if I take it to California, I would need to pay 2.5 % tax to California.

  2. Haggy - 7 years ago

    If you pickup your new car, does that mean you are adding a truck bed to the back of it?

  3. SMF - 7 years ago

    Word to the wise. When California Pols do anything on taxes, guard your wallet and hide the children. No bigger crooks in the world


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